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Homeowner receives warnings after sharing image of their latest landscaping dilemma: 'It smothers plants and rots root systems'

"Hard no. … This comes from hard experience."

"Hard no ... This comes from hard experience."

Photo Credit: Reddit

A homeowner reached out to Reddit's r/gardening forum for advice on landscape fabric, sparking a debate regarding the downsides of the material. 

The homeowner shared an image of their flower bed and asked fellow gardeners if landscape fabric was an effective method for controlling weeds.

Redditors warned against using landscape fabric and encouraged the homeowner to try eco-friendly strategies for promoting a healthy garden.

"Weed fabric eventually breaks down, and has to be removed in bits. It also doesn't feed the soil, and it doesn't prevent weeds," responded one user.

"I'm also in zone 6 and hate landscaping fabric. It will be a huge pain in the a** to remove," commented another Redditor. "Weeds will grow through and be much harder to pull. It prevents perennials from naturalizing."

"Hard NO on landscape fabric. No on plastic, too. This comes from hard experience," wrote one user. "Neither one works. Both will stay with you in unpleasant ways for years. Worse than that, they do nothing to help microorganisms, worms, insects, or the pollinators that depend on biodiversity."

As landscape fabric breaks down over time, it releases toxic microplastics into the soil that harm the organisms living in your garden ecosystem. Landscape fabrics also contribute to the increasing problem of plastic waste and carbon air pollution. The production and transportation of landscape fabric relies on the use of dirty energy, which releases harmful gases into the atmosphere.

A better solution to control weeds in your garden is to use natural materials, such as wood chips or mulch. Natural materials prevent weeds while providing nutrients to the soil as they decompose.

"Cardboard with wood chips/mulch on top," suggested one Redditor.

"I remove it from every project I work on. It smothers plants and rots root systems. A thick 3-4" of mulch is a far better choice," wrote another user.

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